Eyes of Fire (1983)

Eyes of Fire (1983)


It’s 1750 and the American colonies are at war with France. Amidst the chaos and confusion of the colonial wars, a religious sect, headed by a disgraced preacher (Dennis Lipscomb, Wargames), looks for a place to establish their own community. They find the perfect spot in a forest said to be inhabited by restless spirits. The settlers ignore the warnings and they all live to regret their decision.

Reaction & Thoughts:

Here is one movie for eclectic moviegoers. Eyes of Fire, written and directed by Avery Crounse (The Invisible Kid), is a strange mood piece that uses detailed sounds and visuals to create a truly off-putting experience.

This eerie, disquieting quasi-horror film plays like an old American folktale. It’s deliberately slow and uses real locations to great effect. It’s very atmospheric indeed. Lots of surreal touches reinforce the hypnotic quality of the film. You feel like you are watching a dream (or more appropriately a nightmare). It’s a minimalist horror precursor of The Blair Witch Project (1999).

Sadly, the print I watched was pretty awful. That was really a problem because the narrative is secondary to the visuals.

However, even in less than stellar condition, it’s quite obvious that this is an interesting film. It’s too bad that director Crounse’s career never took off because it’s clear that he has talent. I found the whole thing fascinating, and yes, very creepy. Nicely ominous music score by Brad Fiedel (The Accused and True Believer).

Conclusions & Final Thoughts:

As I suggested before, Eyes of Fire is an acquired taste. The film is not for fans of gore. In fact, it might be better appreciated by people who don’t particularly care for the genre. Essentially, it’s an experimental film with limited resources, but plenty of imagination. If you stumble by it, give it a chance, you might find yourself enthralled by it. Color, 85 minutes, Rated PG.

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